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Southport

If you squint into the sunshine and cast your mind back a little over a century, you can almost picture the Southport of old, one of the Gold Coast's earliest and most fashionable seaside destinations. Originally called Nerang Creek Heads, it wasn't long before Southport's name was changed to mirror that of the English resort of the same name.

This area has a rich romantic history which in the 1890s attracted Queensland Governor Anthony Musgrave and his entourage for its sideshow theatre, the Southport pier and its picture theatre. Brisbane's well-heeled arrived by cutter or steamer and were rowed to shore. While access to this pretty place has since improved vastly, its appeal remains. Just north of Surfers Paradise, it is one of the major business hubs of the Gold Coast and overlooks the dazzling Broadwater and the Southport Spit which divides the Broadwater from the Pacific Ocean.

Shop at Australia Fair Shopping Centre, or escape to the languid stretch of parklands here, along which you can wander and daydream that you are back in the days of petticoats and parasols.

High Street
Southport, Gold Coast Area
Queensland
Australia

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Simpson Desert National Park

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
Spanning 1,012,000 hectares in the arid outback, this is Queensland’s largest protected area. Parallel wind-blown sand dunes dominate the striking landscape. Some extend 200 kilometres and reach 90 metres high.

Diamantina National Park Circuit

Bedourie, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
Diamantina National Park has been named one of Australia’s top 10 national parks by the Worldwide Fund for Nature. The drive passes through a variety of landscapes, from the river channels and waterholes on the flood plains, to sand dunes, gibber plains and grasslands.
Free Entry
The landscape and scenery on the Winton - Boulia via Diamantina National Park journey will leave you awestruck. A challenging journey, this relatively isolated route will require the driver to be well prepared as there are no fuel or food facilities.

Diamantina National Park

Bedourie, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
In Diamantina National Park, the mighty Diamantina River, one of Queensland’s longest, cuts braided channels through gibber flats, sand dunes and red-capped ranges. The park supports a large number of rare and threatened plants and animals, including the greater bilby.

French Line - Simpson Desert

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
The Simpson Desert is undoubtedly Australia's most loved desert with large numbers of visitors each year accepting the challenge of crossing the Simpson. Winter rains carpet the desert in wildflowers and the night skies are a star gazers delight.

Birdsville Track

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
An Australian Outback Adventure, the well maintained, unsealed track links Birdsville in Queensland's south-west to Maree in the mid-north of South Australia. The Birdsville Track covers some of Australia's most beautiful and challenging country, passing through the Simpson Desert and Sturt's Stoney Desert.

Red Sandhills

Windorah, Barcoo Area
Free Entry
The Red Sandhills ten kilometres west of Windorah on the Birdsville Road are the reddest that you will find anywhere. They may not be very high, but they are worth stopping to admire, especially for photographers.

Waddi Trees

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
One of Australia’s rarest plants, the Waddi Trees (Acacia puece) have spiky, needle-like leaves and thick bark. The Waddi tree piqued early explorer William John Wills’ interest, with some samples of the seeds found buried in his diary after his death.

Cuttaburra Crossing

Bedourie, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
Cuttaburra Crossing is a permanent waterhole and a renowned wetland on the Eyre Creek. It is located between Lake Koolivoo and Lake Machattie. Cuttaburra Crossing is home to many species of birdlife.

Big Red

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
Standing at 30 metres in height, this awesome sand dune, Big Red, provides a challenge for any four wheel drive enthusiast. The first of 1113 dunes in the Simpson Desert, the spectacular sunsets from the top of Big Red are an experience not to be missed.
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